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Rockets Mourn Passing of Coach McHale’s 23-Year-Old Daughter

The 23-year-old daughter of Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale died after a lengthy battle with the autoimmune disease lupus and team owner Leslie Alexander said the entire organization is in mourning.

Sasha McHale had been hospitalized since Nov. 10, the day McHale took a leave of absence from the National Basketball Association team, the Houston Chronicle reported. She died two days ago in Minneapolis.

“I extend my deepest condolences to Kevin and Lynn for the loss of their beautiful daughter, Sasha,” Alexander said yesterday in a statement. “Our entire organization is mourning the McHale family’s loss and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

Kelvin Sampson has been serving as the Rockets’ interim coach for the past several weeks and relayed the news of Sasha McHale’s death to the players before yesterday’s practice, the Houston Chronicle said on its website.

“Sasha was a daddy’s girl,” Sampson was quoted as saying by the paper. “I remember last year during the lockout when we were meeting, she got sick. She was on a study abroad and had to come back. He just talked about her all the time. It’s just tough. It’s terrible.”

Sasha McHale was one of McHale’s five children and the youngest of his two daughters, the Chronicle said. Funeral arrangements are pending, the paper said, and plans are in place for the Rockets to travel to Minneapolis from Oklahoma City after their Nov. 28 game.

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